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Just When You Least Expect It

Audrey Steele Burnand personified philanthropy and generosity. A great many organizations owe Audrey a debt of gratitude for her extraordinary largess. During my tenure at the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation, I had the pleasure of getting to know Audrey.

We had a common passion for keeping books on the shelves at the library. I discovered that we also shared a deep love for all animals.

Listening to this sage woman talk about the roads she traveled for nearly a century was a gift.

After more than one year of phone conversations, mail correspondence and several funding ideas to build the library’s collection, one of Audrey’s family members showed up unexpectedly with a $500,000 check. Unrestricted. 

I share this story to illustrate the power of listening, informing and partnering with a donor to facilitate the impact they want to make in the world.